Saturday, July 16, 2016

Sometimes things work out much better than you thought they would

Since GBS/CIDP/AMAN I have had the chance to meet some of the most wonderful people. As I've said before, joining the Brooklyn chapter of Achilles International has been the sugar I needed to make the lemonade. But this past Thursday was something special.

The group meets at the local running shoe store and then walks over to the park for a loop. When I joined I showed up in my power wheelchair. Sometimes I chaperoned people around the park and other times I would hang out with the service dogs. When I transitioned to a walker I was only able to make it to the park while other people did a loop. Then I would go out and back a quarter-mile and eventually I walked the short loop through the park. I could've walked further, but it would've taken so long the shoe store would've been closed by the time I was done. I didn't want people to get separated from their belongings that they left there. But I'm training for a marathon and wanted to walk more than just a couple of miles. I just happened to mention that I was going to do a loop of the park earlier in the day and then meet everyone at the shoe store. I didn't think volunteers would make themselves available to walk with me. I really didn't see that coming. I guess that was the ice for the lemonade.

Yesterday, I got two volunteers to chaperone me around the park before everyone else met. My son, who thought it would be a good opportunity to collect Pokémon things. And Larry, who just doesn't miss an opportunity to be a nice guy. Larry is not just a nice guy, Larry likes to run and Larry really likes to take pictures. Here is a link to Larry's Google + account. It's full of the pictures he's taken while running or of runners. As I type this Larry has 13,966,454 views,  wow

So my son,  his BFF, Larry and myself all met in front of my house at 4 PM yesterday. The sky looked a little gray but I figure I'd see which way the wind went. We made it only to the end of the block when one of those marvelous July thunderstorms rolled in. A quick look at our handheld computers told us the rain wasn't gonna last very long. Another check in 10 minutes and we knew we had clear skies for the rest of the day. But this screwed up our timing. Larry and I didn't have time to walk around the park and make it back to the shoe store at 6 PM for the rest of the group. So we figured we let my son lead us around in search of Pokémon and we would just had back when the time was right.

Here's what we saw as soon as we walked into the park.

Then Larry said something that actually surprised me. He told me he'd never been into the interior of Prospect Park before. He's been to the park hundreds of times, he probably ran over thousand miles there and took thousands of photographs. But he never ventured far from the main looping road.

I don't know who enjoyed it more: Larry, exploring the park or me sharing that moment with him

Larry had never seen the waterfall before

This was the first time he saw the front of The Boat House

Or the view of the pond from the Binnen Bridge.

Larry and I had run over the Meadowport and Endale arches hundreds of times. I had told him that Mr. Olmsted had a plan. When he built Prospect Park he made it so that if you stepped into the darkness under the arches that that was the best place to view his masterpiece.

It was nice to walk under them and tell Larry that this is where I went in my mind when I laid there paralyzed in that hospital bed.

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank James Stranahan for hiring Olmsted and Vaux to create Prospect Park. Also, my friend Nicoletta for starting a chapter of Achilles international in Brooklyn for me to share my Park with.

Then, of course, we circled back to the shoe store to meet up with the sugar for my lemonade.

I'm just wondering, in this picture can you tell who the athletes are and who the guides are? Can you think that one group is getting more out of this than another?

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